Sunday, May 25, 2008

More Felt Fun

I really do enjoy the quick nature of these little felted projects. They are very satisfying, and I managed to finish up working on this one during my weekend trip to Calgary. I have patterns from a Japanese crafting book to make these little covers for small round measuring tapes, but had seen some done on another Blog (Moonstitches) and liked that they were done in felt. No need for sewing, just a lot of blanket stitching. This little measuring tape is now making it's way down south for a birthday swap through swapbot. The measuring tape itself is just from the dollar store and is the kind that you squeeze in the centre to retract the tape. I've made only two of these so far, but have liked the way they turned out. The rest of the gift is pictured below. I hope she likes it:) If any one is interested, I can add the instructions for the tape measure covers . Just leave a comment if you are. It's a beautiful day in my neighbourhood today......I hope it's the same in yours!

This Little Piggie Went a Swapp'in

My second completed amigurumi. (Another free pattern from the Lion Brand Web Site.) I accidentally purchased a chunky yarn to make this pig when the instructions called for worsted weight. Ooops! I think he's still kind of cute anyway. He is now on his way to my swap partner for Beginners Amigurumi. I have found this whole crocheting in the round thing quite easy, but certainly requiring attention. I don't know how my gramma could have talked to people while crocheting. When I'm doing it, the minute anyone says anything to me I have to rip back to the beginning of the round.......and I do that plenty enough on my own. I remember gramma always could tell which side was the right side on a doily, and if she noticed one upside down in your house, she would correct the situation right away. As I am crocheting in the round on these projects, I find myself working on the inside and I have a sneaking suspicion that my amigurumi to date have all been made inside out. Maybe one day someone will look at my Ami in horror and fill me in on my error. So far, they have been fun and quick to make. I have a little bird waiting for some eyes, and a beak in my living room. When he's ready to fly I'll post him too.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

So Long and Thanks for the Brisket!

After spending a long weekend away visiting with family and friends, it's back to business. But before that, I'll just tell you a little something of my weekend....... As is the case with long weekends here, there is the opportunity to take the long drive to Calgary to visit Gramma M. The drive is beautiful, certainly, and I am equally certain that we do not really take the appropriate time to enjoy it. Amazingly enough, people from all over the world travel here to see this scenery and beautiful mountains while I, in my car am silently cursing the time they are adding to my drive. In my defense, I have made this drive close to 50 times, so 100 times if you count both directions. Above is a photo of the Columbia Icefields. The glacier is the white triangular patch smack in the middle of the photo. This trip at least, we did stop to take a few pictures.
We had a nice visit and got to see lots of people. Ike had just the best time playing at Matthews farm with Matt and CJ. See above photo. I have a feeling that there were some moments of play that it is best I did not witness. It would appear that C.J had the common sense not to try crawl through the big pipe, but alas my kid did not. Fortunately Matt was able to mount a rescue attempt and Ike is none the worse for the wear. Matt's mom and dad made the yummiest beef brisket in their smoker for dinner and Matt shared with us his new recipe for baked oatmeal which he had tried out that day. So, we are going to share one of Ike's favourite recipes with Matt . It's an easy Sloppy Joes recipe that Ike has made quite a few times and he really likes it! I like it the best when made with smoked paprika which is getting easier to find in the grocery store now.

On the return drive, we stopped in Jasper for a bite to eat as it is the halfway point in our trip. Ike has been learning about Totem Poles in class and is fairly certain that he can discern the story in the totem from his brief exposure in class. Who am I to argue....... his guess is more educated than mine. Ike also scored a souvenir totem from a gift shop earlier in the trip at Saskatchewan River Crossing. Man things are expensive in the Parks! Just to use the highway through it costs almost $20 now. You need to purchase a park day pass, and there is no smaller fee for those who would be just driving through. This, by the way, is a full 100% increase over the amount charged just 10 years ago when we began making these trips. Arguing the fact that there should be a separate fee for those just driving though and not staying in the Parks with the Parks Canada representative did not prove helpful. It would appear that Parks Canada over pays its employees if they think $20 is a good deal to just drive through a park.

Pancakes for Breakfast

It's the weekend after a bit of an absence here, so there is bunches of stuff to catch up on....not the least of which is house work:( I make an effort, on the weekends, to make a proper breakfast for Ike (and by that I mean not just a bowl of cold cereal) who has been recently hungry all the time. Today it's IHOP style pancakes. These are one of the best "American Style" pancakes I've made. I think I've mentioned before, American style pancakes are not my favourite, but if fluffy American Style pancakes are what you are looking for, this is a pretty good recipe. The original recipe called for buttermilk for which I substituted milk and 1tsp of vinegar.  So leave out the vinegar and put in 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk for the very best results.  Now I always use milk kefir in place of the buttermilk as I always have it on hand.  You can quite easily substitute one quarter of the flour with whole wheat flour and reduce the amount of sugar called for in the recipe, but it will not be exactly the same, but still good. I usually serve these with bacon, ham or sausage and fried apples, and maple syrup. My personal favourite is to have them with fruit syrup. I think I have some choke cherry in my fridge still.....mmmmm. If you have a chance....give them a try!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Little Felt Birds

Here is another felt project which is fairly quick and cute. The project is made for another swapbot swap. The instructions for the swap were to create a felt Christmas ornament, and this months theme was birds. I had already made a cardinal pattern which I'd found on the internet (see previous post) but as my partners favourite colour list did not include red, I wanted to try something else and this is the result. I've got a few more on the go now and will likely finish them slightly different as I go along. The pink one in the photo is the one being sent to my partner. Below is the pattern sheet just in case you'd like to give it a try. Just click on it to enlarge and print your own copy.